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Comment Sat TV is also a Cybersecurty Threat (Score 1) 125

Classify satellite TV as a cybersecurity threat also. I have to pay for a "package" in order to get certain channels. Other channels are then denied to me. Also when satellite providers can't reach an agreement with a network (FOX, ABC etc.) then I suddenly lose channels. I'm not getting my information. Before you throw any rocks this way: c'mon, it's the same as the title. It's some jacked-up idea that looks great on paper to a committee making theoretical decisions of how the world actually works outside of a carefully crafted bubble they live. So tack on articles such a DRM and dipshit patents before you send this one up, because they are holding up progress all the same by denying access to information.

Comment The DVR isn't Dying, an Apple-ish lie (Score 1) 207

Rothschild pronounced the DVR to be dying in the same way that Apple lies about technological directions, which is solely to stilt the public's thinking to focus on the supposed superiority of their own products. When the DTV/TIVO marriage tanked, DTV built their own DVR. TIVO lost a major teat to suck from. Inventing a new hardware paradigm for TIVO- a paper-logical one; it's TIVO's way of sprinkling some Apple white lies. Yes, it's logical to get rid of a separate set-top component box, but your TV-integrated-TIVO is a proprietary solution that only a fool would buy into. Either the TV or it's parasitical TIVO component dies? You shitcan the whole unit. TIVO is going to top the cost of the TV but $300-$500, and that premium will prevent it from competing. Also the TIVO component, unless able to couple closely with cable/satellite services, will function separately, not have that integrated feel of a sat/DVR or cable/DVR, and nobody wants a feeble solution.

Comment Steam is as bunch of hot air (Score 1) 354

Steam is still DRM, just spelled differently. If EA hadn't had the install count limitation on the original shipped product, there would be little difference to consumers- aside from having physical media, than buying the thing from Steam. It's news, but not really much to get excited about, except for recognition of complaints being heard by EA.

Comment USA Mobility (Score 1) 584

There is USA Mobility. We still use them, but are dropping them when our next statement is due (we pre-pay yearly to avoid piddly monthly statements).

Here's my beef: they cut off our service with zero warning. They claim to have sent us our yearly invoice in July, again in August, and a late statement in September. We received nothing in the mail. I learned all of this in September when our services were cut off and I called their customer service. The last statement I received was a credit notice in our favor in July. Well, I put through payment to them which took about two weeks to have the check cut and mailed (corporate machine), but still could not get our service turned on because we "now" owe them a lousy $25 reconnect fee because we didn't pay within 90 days. That 90 days put our account in a status where they "no longer trusted our credit". What irks me is that we've been a customer with them since the 90's, and we're one of the "Fortune 500"- meaning we don't slack on payments or crap like that.

No amount of logic would sink in to the customer service drone, or the supervisor I asked to talk to, and calmly explained the whole mess to. He simply stonewalled me. We drop a four-figure check in their lap, and due to an absurd circumstance that wasn't our fault, they won't reactivate our service for a lousy $25?

I've had many other problems with USA Mobility in the last year, changing frequencies with no warning and dropping pager from our account, then having to call them for "reprogramming".

I'm taking our business elsewhere.

Submission + - Yahoo! attempts to convert Google users

multippt writes: "Google, a major competitor of Yahoo!, has made its presence so noticeable, that Yahoo! decided to start its "campaign", of increasing the amount of Yahoo! users, even if it meant forcing users off Google.

Battle of the Toolbars
Yahoo!'s widely acclaimed toolbar, has been used as a medium to promote itself. No doubt, Google has done the same thing. But, what makes the Yahoo! toolbar different? Sometimes, installing the Yahoo! toolbar doesn't mean you are only installing the toolbar itself. It will make itself feel at home (by changing numerous settings, since by installing the toolbar, the toolbar assumes you have given it a right to modify certain settings). Sometimes, before it changes something, it will give a rather ambiguous message prompt that sounds rather urgent, prompting you to click on the most favorable button (usually the "yes" button). The toolbar may attempt to change your homepage (a very common tactic, Yahoo! [does this sneakily], Google [prompts you if you want to change it], and Norton [in an attempt to "protect" you] does this). Did I mention that it is kind of difficult to disable the Yahoo! toolbar?

You are much better off having Google toolbar installed, since it provides whatever Yahoo! toolbar provides, with the exception of the massive configuration done to your browser. A bonus the Google toolbar has is the "page rank" tool. By the way, if you are thinking of installing the Yahoo! and Google toolbars together, please don't, since those two toolbars react strangely to one another.

"Upgrade to Internet Explorer 7" campaign
Yahoo! actively promotes Microsoft's Internet Explorer 7 (but they don't do the install for you), which is evident here. Google on the other hand, promotes both Firefox (there is a special toolbar made to support it) and Internet Explorer (they have an "optimized" version of Internet Explorer 7). Yahoo! states that Internet Explorer is "safe". Tell me, if it is "safe", would it allow another plugin to change its homepage actively? Firefox don't do that, but Internet Explorer do. Ever wondered why the Yahoo! toolbar doesn't work well on Firefox?

There are also theoretical reasons as to why Yahoo! feels that Google is becoming a larger threat to its popularity.

Most visited sites
Years ago, Yahoo! remained as one of the top 10 most visited sites in the internet. Now, with Google in the picture, Yahoo!'s status of being the most visited website in the world is going to be the thing of the past. There are several reasons as to why more people are preferring Google to Yahoo!.

Google's easier to load
Users using a slow internet connection speed may want to view pages that load quickly (just like Google's homepage). Thus, Google is at an advantage here.

Google supports open-source projects
Most major companies may not even bother in indulging into open-source projects (this includes homebrew). Google is not one of them. Hence, Google actively supports developers and the like, by giving support to them, providing service APIs to them, etc. That is why you can see Google sometimes promoting Firefox, and Firefox promoting Google (Firefox's default browser homepage is an affiliate of Google). Though, Yahoo! would soon follow suit.

Google's services are just better
A known example is the Google Mail (GMail) versus Yahoo! mail. There are more people using GMail, in preference to Yahoo! mail. Why?

GMail has 2.8GB and counting (and it increases every day) of storage, while Yahoo! mail has 1GB of storage space (2GB if you pay). GMail has about almost every other feature Yahoo! mail has, except more. GMail has an inactivity period of 9 months (the account is labeled as dormant after 6 months, and is deleted after 3 months after the account is labeled as dormant), while Yahoo! has an inactivity period of 4 months.

Another service worth mentioning is the Yahoo! search versus Google search. Google search covers the most updated sites, and those sites not updated in months are pushed down by other sites that are more frequently updated. Yahoo! on the other hand, still show (blank) pages that are even not updated in a year, and still can show it on the top search results. Google also brings in most of a site's traffic, while Yahoo! brings in a much smaller amount.

Well, after all, the internet wars are still not over yet."
The Media

Submission + - Senate bill bans Net & satellite radio recordi

kaufmanmoore writes: The new congress is the same as the old congress as Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Joseph Biden (D-Del.) and Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) reintroduced a bill that would require internet radio, music offered via digital cable, XM and Sirius to pay "fair market value" to use music libraries under members of the RIAA. FTA: "The proposal says that all audio services — Webcasters included — would be obligated to implement "reasonably available and economically reasonable" copy-protection technology aimed at preventing "music theft" and restricting automatic recording." The act also restricts "manual" recording saying that it should only be done "in a manner that is not an infringement of copyright." The full article is available from Cnet

Submission + - Senate bill S.256 aims to restrict internet radio

JAFSlashdotter writes: If you enjoy MP3 or OGG streams of internet radio, it's time to pay attention. This week US Senators Lamar Alexander, Joseph Biden, Dianne Feinstein, and Lindsey Graham in their collective wisdom have decided to reintroduce the "Platform Equality and Remedies for Rights Holders in Music (PERFORM) Act". This ARS Technica article explains that PERFORM would restrict our rights to make non-commercial recordings under the Audio Home Recording Act of 1992, and require satellite and internet broadcasters to use "technology to prevent music theft". That means goodbye to your favorite streaming audio formats, hello DRM. The EFF said pretty much the same when this bill last reared its ugly head in April of 2006. It's too soon to get the text of this year's version (S.256) online, but it likely to resemble last year's S.2644, which is available through Thomas. Last year's bill died in committee, but if at first you don't succeed...

Submission + - Protien in HIV functions as resistor

TwilightXaos writes: "Leor Weinberger and Thomas Shenk, two researchers at Princeton, have discovered a new model for how the HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) enters and exits dormancy. They claim it functions as a resistor, this is in contrast to other types of regulation models found in other viruses and animals. From the abstract:

Here we show that a dissipative feedback resistor, composed of enzymatic interconversion of the transactivator, converts transactivation circuits into excitable systems that generate transient pulses of expression, which decay to zero. We use HIV-1 as a model system and analyze single-cell expression kinetics to explore whether the HIV-1 transactivator of transcription (Tat) uses a resistor to shut off transactivation. The Tat feedback circuit was found to lack bi-stability and Tat self-cooperativity but exhibited a pulse of activity upon transactivation, all in agreement with the feedback resistor model.

The research could lead to an effective treatment of the HIV virus, and has the possibility of increasing understanding of other viruses like herpes.
Additionally has a article on the findings."

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